Simulacra – Perversion of Reality

The concepts Baudrillard writes about in Simulacra and Simulation are hard to grasp at first. After all, no one should be particularly fond of finding out that the world––the reality––in which they live in may very well be the simulacra of another reality. From what I read, it seems to me that Baudrillard’s understanding of simulacra is closer to that of Plato’s than Nietzsche’s. Be that as it may, all three of these philosophers shared the same negative view of simulacra. Baudrillard and Plato particularly wrote about the deceptive power behind a simulacra. From Plato’s point of view, a simulacra that is not entirely the same as the original may be constructed to in fact replace the original. This theory can be applied to Plato’s perception that the world in which we presently live in is in fact a simulacra of the “perfect” world. In other words, our world is a distorted version of a utopian world that exists. However, if you were to take Plato’s example and apply Baudrillard’s theory, than the utopian world that Plato mentions (the original) ceases to exist.  This is due to the simulacra (the hyper real) replacing the original to the point were it becomes the only reality. 

 

If I had to give an example of a simulacra it would not be an object but a truism (of unknown origin, but usually attributed to Winston Churchill) that states, “History is written by the victors.” Simply put, whoever wins (let’s say a war between two countries) gets to decide what events they want to reveal and which ones to hide. This distortion of the events that took place becomes the reality as time passes by. 

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